Karonda fruit, also called Black Currant or Christ’s thorn and scientifically termed Carissa carandas, may be a traditional summer produce in India, that’s widely utilised in making pickles, jams and preserves. This succulent bounty also confers immense health benefits, like preventing heart condition , relieving digestive trouble and curing fevers. Locally, it’s called “Vaakkai” in Telugu, “Kauli Hannu” in Kannada, “Kilakkai” in Tamil and “Koromcha” in Bengali.
Karonda is an evergreen deciduous shrub, that’s believed to possess originated within the Himalayas, thus making it an indigenous crop. it’s extensively cultivated within the Northern mountains and therefore the Western Ghats in India, also as in Nepal, Sri Lanka and other South-East Asian countries.
The karonda plant grows up to a height of two to 4 m, with a thick grey bark holding branches that contain sharp spines, hence giving it the name of Christ’s thorn. The leaves are oblong and conical in shape, green-brown in color, from which bloom Pieris rapae flowers. Upon developing, the unripe karonda fruit, a berry, is globular in shape with tiny seeds within, occurring in clusters of three to 10 fruits. The unripe fruits have a tart, sour taste, being greenish-white in colour and once ripened, turn red or purple, secreting a tasty liquid content inside with a delicious sweet flavour.